Pa. lineman names top five

Elliot Bates is drawing plenty of attention

Pittsburgh offered another lineman from the Keystone State on Saturday, offensive guard Elliot Bates (6-foot-3, 285 pounds, 5.1 40-yard dash) of Chartiers-Houston High School. Elliot has been to Pitt a few times and had a feeling an offer may have been coming his way.

"I've been down there several times, so I wasn't surprised," he said. "Pitt has been recruiting me very hard. I get a letter from them almost everyday."

Along with Pittsburgh, several other teams have showed an interest in Bates including: Purdue, Iowa, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Virginia. The first-team All-Black Hills Conference and second-team Associated Press All-State selection has an early list of favorites.

"Right now, I like Pittsburgh and Iowa the most, followed by Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Purdue," Bates said.

One team that has not shown an interest in Bates yet is Penn State. The big man grew up as a fan of the Nittany Lions and is disappointed by their lack of interest.

"I always liked them, but they have shown no interest," he said. "Pittsburgh stepped up to the plate and showed that they want me there."

Iowa is a team that Bates is interested in as well.

"I went to their camp last summer, I really liked the environment and the coaches," he said.

Pittsburgh and Iowa are the only two campuses that Bates has visited. He plans to attend the Nike Combine in Columbus, Ohio and summer camps at Penn State, Notre Dame, Purdue, and Wisconsin. In addition to football, Bates is an accomplished wrestler. This season he was the runner-up in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League in 275-pound weight class. He qualified for the state tournament and finished the season 29-7. Bates is currently throwing the shot put and discus for the Chartiers-Houston track team.

Insiders interview with OG Elliot Bates Chartiers-Houston High School

What attracts you to the University of Pittsburgh?

"It's close to home. My family loves Pitt. They have a very good academic program and the facilities are one of the best in the country."

How would you describe your style of play?

"I just try and go 100 percent every play. I try and be as physical as possible. I take pride in my offensive play. If my QB gets sacked or my RB gets tackled, it's like someone slapped me in my face."

What are your goals for the 2004 season?

"I want to be picked first-team All-State. I'd like to help get my team on the winning track before I leave. I would love to be on the Big 33 team."

Are there any players in the NFL or college you like to watch?

"Dwight Freeney, the speed he plays with rushing off the edge. I also like Robert Gallery. He is just so physical."

What are the biggest deciding factors for you, when you decide on a school?

"Education is something I take very serious. I am all about schoolwork and sports. The environment around me will be important as well. I want to be comfortable."

When will you decide?

"I think in August, before the season starts, I'll announce."

Bates bench presses 270 pounds, squats 450 and maintains a 3.16 grade point average. He will be taking the SAT in May.

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